We are very sad to learn that the composer, writer, scholar and educator Alan Shockley has died.
A friend and supporter of the Anthony Burgess Foundation, Alan was a constant and convivial presence at the many conferences which took place in Liverpool, Manchester, Angers, Kuala Lumpur and in the United States.
He was a brilliant man, wise and warm, who will be remembered for his great humour and generosity to other scholars. His strong expertise in music and literature made him the ideal reader of Burgess’s work. He was also highly esteemed as a scholar of James Joyce.
As a composer and musician, Alan Shockley was versatile and endlessly productive. He composed at least 80 works for orchestra, woodwind, piano, toy piano, solo harp, marimba, cello, violin, accordion, strings, chamber ensembles, horns, drums, trombones, voices, and electronics. He was much in demand as a performer and conductor in America, Europe and Japan. Rarely has a creative life been lived so fully.
Writing was a major part of his life as an artist and scholar. Among his many publications are two important books, Music in the Words: Musical Form and Counterpoint in the Twentieth-Century Novel (2009) and The Contemporary Piano: A Performer and Composer’s Guide to Techniques and Resources (2018).
Beyond these accomplishments as a musician and writer, he is remembered very fondly by his students as an inspiring and dedicated teacher.
Our thoughts are with his wife and two daughters at this very sad time.